Ortiz: Francona probably had problems with players

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Ortiz: Francona probably had problems with players

Why did the Red Sox clubhouse self-destruct? Were there players drinking during games? David Ortiz wouldn't say one way or the other, but he did indicate that his teammates weren't always giving 100 percent.

"They probably haven't," Ortiz told CSN's Jessica Moran. "Trust me, the way things are going down right now here, they will learn. They will learn. And I guarantee they will try their best to improve things for next year.

"We're all pro ballers here -- at one point you have to know when the lack of effort is affecting you. I'm pretty sure it's gonna be better for next year."

The fact that players did not give their all is perhaps one of the reasons Ortiz's longtime manager Terry Francona is no longer with the team.

"When it comes down to that, I had a great relationship with Tito," Ortiz said. "I always gave him the green light, whenever I screwed up with something, for him to let me know . . . We were good at it.

"He probably had problems with some players," Ortiz added. "I can't really give you too many details about that. All I know is that you gotta just come here and get prepared to play the game."

It's a message that the Red Sox might have heeded during the regular season, had someone in the clubhouse been qualified to pass it along. But who? If Francona was tuned out, then perhaps a veteran player like Ortiz could speak the to club to get them back on track?

Not his job, Ortiz said.

"I'm one of the guys, I try my best to get things rolling one way or the other," Ortiz said. "I get along with pretty much everybody. At the same time I'm nobody to determine who does the right thing and who doesn't . . . It's not like I'm anybody's babysitter or anything like that."

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.